This week, we’ve been celebrating small businesses in our area ahead of the official start of Small Business Saturday. Every year, since 2011, the Shop Small movement observes Small Business Saturday on the first Saturday following Thanksgiving. Though it’s only been in existence for seven years, Small Business Saturday is already securing a place among holiday traditions, even successfully competing with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But, how did Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small movement start? Before you get out and support your favorite small businesses, check out our brief history lesson on how the movement got off the ground and continues to gain momentum…

A Big Name Lends Big Support

It took a big name — American Express, specifically — to set the wheels in motion for Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small movement. Started in 2010, American Express marketed the Saturday following Thanksgiving as an attempt to bandage the bleeding that small businesses were experiencing due to the recession.

It worked.

In fact, Small Business Saturday took off with considerable speed. Only one year later, by unanimous vote, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in favor of Small Business Saturday. By 2013, Small Business Saturday Neighborhood Champions topped 1,400. Four years later, that number exceeded 7,200.

Now, only eight years since its inception, approximately $85 billion has been by consumers committed to #shopsmall.

The narrative behind Small Business Saturday is arguably no longer just about a small business’ bottom line, but creating community and celebrating entrepreneurial spirit.

According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, which was commissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, “90% of consumers said Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community.”

How Can You Get Involved?

Supporting Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small Movement is simple. For small business owners, promote your business with #smallbusinesssaturday social media hashtags and make sure you let your customers know of changes to your hours or any fun incentives to shop your store. Take a look at our “Five Marketing Moves for Small Business Saturday” for some last minute ideas and long-term strategies to help you prepare for next year… it’s never too early to think smart about shopping small.

Not a business owner?

Be a voice of small business support in your community and shop at your favorite local small business. It’s really the perfect excuse to treat yourself or someone on your holiday gift list. Try to visit your tried and true establishments, but also squeeze in a trip somewhere new… even if that means grabbing a quick sip at a new cafe or local watering hole.

Lend your support to Small Business Saturday and help keep the Shop Small Movement strong in your community.

And to all you small business owners, good luck today! You’ve got this and we’ll see you soon!

Celebrating Small Business Saturday

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